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The Morning Call - Barletta: Immigration Law Ruling is a Win for Arizona

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Q: Were you satisfied with the Supreme Court's ruling on the Arizona immigration law?

A: I didn't expect the entire law to be upheld. The part that was, was the most important part. I view that as a victory for Arizona. Arizona wanted to enforce those laws because the federal government won't. Basically the state was saying, "You're failing to enforce these laws." The centerpiece, and the most controversial part, was where Arizona wanted to be able to check immigration status if there was "reasonable suspicion" where [the state] didn't have that authority before.

Q: Democrats are also claiming victory with this decision. Did one side win?

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A: Federal government [backers] are claiming victory because they don't want anyone enforcing immigration laws, including themselves. They are happy that the problem will still exist. However, this portion where law enforcement can check immigration status is a huge victory for Arizona, and the Supreme Court is agreeing that there is a role to be played [for states] when dealing with immigration.

Q: President Barack Obama recently issued an executive order allowing children of illegal immigrants to obtain work visas and defer deportation. What was your immediate reaction?

A: I was very upset by his announcement. It's obviously a political announcement based on the election. The president had two years when he controlled the House and the Senate to deal with this issue if he desired, but he didn't. I believe he has clearly overstepped his constitutional authority and he is circumventing Congress and the rule of Congress. For good reason, we don't allow a president to impose his or her own law. This is a democracy, not a dictatorship.

Q: Why do you believe this particular executive order is wrong?

A: President Obama likes to talk about what is fair and everyone should play by the same rules. Is it fair to the American worker who can't find work that the president is willing to offer work permits indefinitely to 1 million illegal immigrants? Is it fair to our students and our young adults who are now forced to compete for scholarships and financial aid? It opens the door to millions more to come here illegally. Anyone who understands this issue knows illegal immigrants obtain fraudulent documents to skirt the law. Now anyone can come through our borders [and] obtain fraudulent documents. … This is also a national security issue, that now gang members and terrorists can obtain documents to work here. To do this right before an election is an insult to both American citizens and legal immigrants who waited and played by the rules to come to America.

Q: Should there be a path to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants?

A: That is for Congress to debate. Those that want to provide amnesty to illegal immigrants want to make that the first step, but you can't put the cart before the horse. We have to secure our borders and stop people from coming here illegally. We were taught at a young age, first things first. The first thing here is to stop people from coming here illegally, enforce the laws we already have and then we can deal with the millions of illegal immigrants who are already here. We shouldn't simply give amnesty and assist illegal immigrants to take American jobs. It's bizarre.


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